Potential Buy......but there's a twist *sigh*
So, I found this ad on equine.com and fell in love. I'm looking for a horse to running barrels with. There's a video and a bunch of pics on the ad:
CUTE 10 year old Gelding for sale $800 OBO | Buy this Horse at Equine.com
I thought okay, issues with the bit, head tossing, no biggie. I've dealt with worse and had amazing results. But here's the twist now - turns out he supposedly has a huge scar on his tongue and was given to the current owners with a wire twisted big and a wire noseband and was told he absolutly needed these things. I guess the current owners didn't know any better so they rode him around in this ridiculously harsh bit until one day he (the horse) got so fed up with having his mouth yanked on he reared up. Now, according to them he has only reared the one time. They restarted him in a bitless bridle and he's been an amazing horse again ever since. Hasn't offered to rear since that last time, never bucks, great temperment, listens well.
In your opinion, is he worth using the gas to go to look at? Do you think with soft hands, patience and more retraining he'll never rear again or do you think now that he's done it the one time he may be prone to do it again? Rearing is one issue I never worked with on a horse - bucking, kicking, biting, spooking, no problems for me there but I'm not experienced with rearing so I'm wondering what you all think. Thanks!
EDIT: Here's a video I found of him barrel racing with their 11 year old daughter -
I guess he is on the cheap "project-type" end of the horse market...so if that's what you're looking for...then sure. I'd check his back or something though...because in all the pictures he's all parked out on his hind end? Even at that price range I'd spend the $100 for the full vet check.
I think that if you have the time and patience to work with him, he would make a good project. I think that he'd need to just go back to basic work so that he can learn that he's not going to be yanked in the mouth all of the time. It sounds like the only reason he reared, was from pain. My horse used to rear when I first got him. It is possible to fix, but it's not something you should undertake if it is going to scare you. (And it can definitely be scary!)
Aside from that, he needs to get some help with the pattern. His turns are sloppy and he doesn't really know where his feet are. He doesn't seem to be carrying himself well. You'd need to show him where he needs to be and get him out of the bad habits he is in now. For 800$ though, I think he could be fun to work with.
Thanks Spastic I was hoping you'd comment on this. :) I've read a lot of your posts and respect your advice.
The other thing I found out is he gets "hot" and "racey" when run flat out for "long periods of time." Now, his owner previous to them barrel raced him extensivly. I'm thinking she must have run him at home as well and got him all hot and heavy on the pattern. I'm used to hot horses, they don't bother me. My first horse was an Arabian, a jumper, and he was as hot as they came (I'm talking never walked always jigged, always tried to canter when you trotted...and this was my first horse ever when I was a teenager LOL). He, too, came to me in a harsh bit (doubel twisted wire) and after a few years of hard, hard, hard work I was finally able to get him to go in a simple D-ring snaffle. So I'm not worried about reschooling him to relax, and what not, it's just the rearing thing. I don't mind a "problem horse" I just worry about them flipping over on top of me, that's all.
Why was your horse rearing when you first got him if I might ask?
I ride English and have absolutely no Western know-how whatsoever, so I won't comment on his motion or conformation. BUT I don't see any reason why the horse would make a habit of rearing. That isolated incident was probably a very bad experience, and if he's no longer in his harsh bit he shouldn't feel the need to repeat it. The fact that he tolerated the wire bit for such a long time before he reared says far more about him than the rear itself. He seems like a good boy: I wouldn't worry about it too much :)
I would go for it, he is a nice project for $800
My horse was ridden in a very heavy bit when I got him and drugged the first time I saw him. He would rear when he didn't understand things, specifically when asked to back. It took a few weeks to figure out, but now he doesn't rear up anymore. I think with a horse like the one you're looking at, his rearing shouldn't be a problem.
The important thing with riding hot or nervous horses, as you probably already know, is to make sure you are calm. If you feel that you can be the brains and give him clear messages, I think he will welcome your lead. I think this guy could really benefit with some time off and then slowly working back into work so he can understand that riding does not equal pain. Once he learns this, I think he could be a lot of fun. :)
It was isolated accident, he doesn't sound like "habitual rearer" (spell? :) ). Can you actually TRY him with snaffle to see what will happen before paying for him? Also it depends on what they meant by "rearing". For lots of people little pop-up is already a huge REAR. :shock: I believe with soft hands and gentle bit you won't have any problems UNLESS it's something health-related.
P.S. Can you race in hackamore? I've seen people doing it here (although never tried myself).
Yes, you can race in a hackamore or bitless. I'm not sure about the scaring though as he sounds like he should still be ridden two handed, and thus not in a hackamore. Not familiar with bitless though.
I tried bitless (you use 2 hands), but frankly I personally would prefer sidepull.
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